Winter roadway maintenance in Indiana typically involves the removal of snow and ice from the roadway with metal plow blades. The interaction of the wearable metal portion of the plow and the roadway causes damage to raised pavement markers (RPMs) and painted line markings. Partial rubber snow plow blades (PRPBs) are currently available as an alternative to full metal blades. The purpose of this project was to conduct a limited study to evaluate the decrease in damage to the RPMs and pavement markings, and rate the snow removal performance of the PRPB verses the traditional steel carbide blade. Overall there was no solid evidence supporting the premise that the PRPB equipped with rubber wingtips damaged RPMs and striping less than the traditional plow equipped with a steel cutting edge. Overall the PRPB did not perform nearly as well as the steel blade based on the opinions of INDOT plow operators.

Report Number



rubber, plow, snow, snow plow blades

SPR Number


Performing Organization

Joint Transportation Research Program

Publisher Place

West Lafayette, Indiana

Date of this Version